By JOHN CORYER Press-Republican
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State men’s basketball coach Tom Curle, who says his team still has a long way to go, took the good with the not so good Tuesday night.
John Perez scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Cardinals (2-1) opened their home schedule with an 82-69 nonconference victory over St. Lawrence University at Memorial Hall.
“We have good players, but right now we’re relying on our ability to score,” Curle said. “St. Lawrence is a good rebounding team and thank God we had John Perez (Tuesday) because I don’t know if we had anyone else who could get a rebound. We’ve only played three games, but I’m concerned about our defense and shot selection.
“That said, St. Lawrence is going to be a team that competes and we held them to 69 points while we scored 82. That’s not terrible. And we held them to 42 percent shooting from the field and forced 23 turnovers. So, we did some good things.”
Chris Manning’s 3-pointer at the end of the half gave the Cardinals a 40-35 lead after 20 minutes.
Plattsburgh held a five-point lead four times in the opening half. The largest advantage for the Saints was two points on two occasions.
The Saints (1-2), however, hung around for much of the second half before Plattsburgh went up by as many as 17 points late in the contest. The Cardinals, who hit just one-of-five from the foul line in the first half, scored their final 11 points of the contest from the line and finished 17-of-28.
Perez, after missing the end of last season with an injury, looked good hitting six-of-12 from the field and seven-of-eight from the charity stripe to go along with his game-high 14 rebounds. He scored 14 of his points in the second half.
“John was a beast out there,” Curle said.
Manning was a key factor with 16 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in the first half, The point guard also added six rebounds, six assists and six steals. Edward Correa was a third Cardinal in double figures with 13.
“I thought Xavier Thomas gave us a spark off the bench in the first half with six quick points,” Curle said.
Brady Condlin and Kyle Kobis led St. Lawrence with 15 points apiece, while Kyle Edwards added 11. Janpeter Brase had a team-high 11 rebounds for the Saints, who held a 40-36 advantage on the boards.
Kobis, who helped keep the Saints in the game in the first half, was limited to just two points after intermission.
“We were able to make some good adjustments at the half,” Curle said. “We did a much better job on (Kobis). He’s a right-handed shooter, but likes going to his left more. We also defended the screen and roll much better.
“Offensively, we didn’t use a post player in the second half underneath in order to give Manning an opportunity to drive to the basket. We had 17 assists on our 28 baskets from the field.”
Plattsburgh shot 48 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range.
“We still have to do a better job defensively,” Curle said. “Our forwards were getting into foul trouble because our guards weren’t doing their part by keeping their men in front of them.
“The final statistics look good, but I still feel we could have given more. I know it’s only three games, but we haven’t put a game together yet. Our first shot needs to come from the flow of the offense. We still have to be more mature, play smart and hard.”
The Cardinals are now off before hosting Keene State in a nonconference game on December 3.
Former Northeastern Clinton standout Tom Bedard is a member of the St. Lawrence team.
Plattsburgh State 82, St. Lawrence 69
St. Lawrence (69)
Edwards 2-6-11, Kobis 6-2-15, Jones 3-0-8, Condlin 5-3-15, Brase 4-0-8, Tracy 0-0-0, Bedard 0-0-0, Stahler 4-1-9, Hampton 1-0-3, Adler 0-0-0, Miller 0-0-0, Benton 0-0-0. Totals: 25-12-69.
Plattsburgh State (82)
Correa 5-0-13, Manning 5-3-16, McIntosh 1-4-6, Perez 6-7-19, Hodgson 1-0-3, Mitchell 1-0-3, Outlaw 0-0-0, Thomas 3-0-6, Fields 3-0-6, Moody 3-2-9, Baker 0-0-0, Siergiej 0-1-1, Mitchell 0-0-0. Totals: 28-17-82.
Halftime: Plattsburgh State, 82-69.
3-point goals: St. Lawrence (7): Jones 2; Condlin 2; Edwards; Kobis; Hampton. Plattsburgh (9): Correa 3; Manning 3; Hodgson; Mitchell; Moody.